An Analysis of the Situation of Vulnerable Children
Conducted by SARTHI
# Road No- 17, Rajiv Nagar, Po- Keshri Nagar, Patna- 800024.
Nawaz ul haque (team leader)
Tarkeshwar singh (child rights expert)
Ravi ranjan sinha (research analyst)
Kundan (research associate)
The present research study would not have been possible without the
help and efforts of SARTHI.
We would also like to thanks Mr.Tarkeshwar Singh for his valuable
I wish to record with appreciation the sincere service and hard work
of the field supervisor and our research analyst Mr.Ravi Ranjan
Sinha for their services.
Last but not the least our special thanks to all the street children who
participated in the study.
Nawaz ul haque
Following are the summarized findings of the empirical Pilot study conducted in Buxar
district town on 40 vulnerable street child children.
1. The Socio-economic background of the sample respondents shows that majority of
the street children are male, belonging to age group 11-14 years.
2. Nearly 90% of them are unable to read and write i.e., 36 out of 40 are illiterates.
3. 77 per cent living with parents on the streets. (5%) live alone on the street, rest are
live with their father or mother on the street.
4. Majority of the children are from rural areas of the same district and they come
along with their parents due to poverty and hunger in native place (72.5). Others
came to earn more money.
5. Majority of the children (52.5 %) are engaged in collecting things from garbage,
12.5 % were involved in brooming in the train /road sides.17.5% were engaged in
water bottle selling at station and other places nearby, 10% are involved in
begging, 5% are working in small shops. Rests 2.5% are doing petty things for
6. 40 Percent children’ place of staying is railway station and next bus stations.
7. Nearly 95 percent of them have taken work of street child for last six years.
8. Illiteracy, poverty, indebtedness, other economic factors are important reasons for
their vulnerability and streetism.
9. 95 per cent are earning below Rs. 1600 per month, while the highest and lowest
earnings are Rs. 3000 and Rs. 600.
10. Nearly 80 percent of street child families are still having huge debts and source of
debt is moneylenders.
11. Majority of child rag pickers goes for collection of garbage on foot.
12. Nearly 82.5 percent of the respondents are facing different problems at the time of
working and they suffer from infections and ill health.
13. About 52 percent of the children received medical care from government facilities.
14. 52.5 % respondent children were Muslim and 47.5 are Hindus.
15. When talk about the importance of education 95% affirms the importance of
education in life, 5% replied negatively.
15. Majority of children shown interest in joining school (70%), if opportunity is
available to them and any one to guide them.
16. Less no of Respondent children are having bad habits such as consumption of a
tobacco / cigarette, and gutka in various forms (37.5%), but this figure is alarming.
17. Majority of the street child do not purchase significant consumer durable items.
18. Majority of respondent children are spending money on consumable and
unproductive items, such as beedi, tobacco and cinema, but major chunk of their
income was used by their parents.
Based on this study we also recommend some suggestions for the betterment of
vulnerable children in the district.
Pilot study on “An Analysis of the Situation of
Vulnerable Children in Buxar District”.
Children are the most vulnerable group in any society because they
depend on the decisions and actions of others (adults) for their
survival and development. Decisions made by adults deny children
their rights to basic education and health, protection, free movement
and speech, be heard and legal protection. Such denials are
manifested in street children, child labor, rag pickers, children headed
households, lack of institutional set up and inadequate resource
allocation to address children’s rights and needs, etc. In this context
the CRC commits Governments to assume primary responsibility in
protecting children’s rights, among others, by ensuring that the laws of
the land and the corresponding administrative structures comply with
the provisions of the CRC.
This cross sectional pilot study conducted in and around Buxar town
area by selected 40 vulnerable children randomly to asses the
situation for long term intervention with this group.
A ‘child’ is defined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)as a person under the
age of 18. This includes infancy, early childhood, middle childhood and adolescents.
The UN Convention on Rights of the Child, 1989 draws attention to four sets of civil, political, social,
economic and cultural rights of every child. These are:
Right to survival: This includes the right to life, the highest attainable standard of health, nutrition,
and adequate standards of living. It also includes the right to a name and a nationality.
Right to protection: This includes freedom from all forms of exploitation, abuse, inhuman or
degrading treatment, and neglect including the right to special protection in situations of
emergency and armed conflicts.
Right to development: This includes the right to education, support for early childhood
development and care, social security, and the right to leisure, recreation and cultural
Right to participation: This includes respect for the views of the child, freedom of expression,
access to appropriate information, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Objectives and Methodology-:
The present pilot study is an analysis of the situation of vulnerable
children which seeks to investigate into the “Socio-Economic
conditions and problems of street Children in Buxar district town city”
with the following objectives.
1. To identify and study Socio-Economic conditions of Children living
in difficult situation.
2. To examine their perceptions about educational and training issues.
3. To analyze their behavior, Estimate their Earnings and consumption
4. To examine the reasons of migration, effects of working Environment
on their health condition.
5. To identify and analyze the factors responsible for their deprivation of
6. To identify their problems at work and their future inclination.
7. To find out various ways to provide tender care and emotional support
for their educational and co-curricular activities, so they can have a
secure future and part of a good citizenry.
40 vulnerable children have been selected randomly from different parts o
town area for purpose of collecting data. A structured questionnaire/ schedule
been used in which questions and items regarding the socio-economic
and other problems of the street children are included. Efforts have been made
their free and frank views.
Limitations of the study
The study had naturally some limitations. Some of the major
limitations of the study were as under:
1. Size of sample was small and the pattern emerging out of the
study may not be applicable in general. Therefore, the findings
should be interpreted cautiously.
2. Problems of non-response and other attitudinal biases
connected with perceptional questions.
3. The investigators during the conduct of field work posed some
difficulty in getting their responses.
Results and findings.
Profile of the respondent children
The pilot study on situational analysis of vulnerable children at Buxar
district, Bihar was conducted between June – July 2011 .The sample
size was 40 which covered three areas of Buxar district. Interviews
were conducted with respondent children by means of structured
questionnaire with closed & open ended questions. A copy of
questionnaire is attached as appendix 2.
Demographic characteristics of street children
1. Location of street children:
Table 1 gives the distribution of street children by the location
where they were living at that time of the survey. The survey
reveals that all the street children living on the street (100%) and
majority of them live with their parents & and also were migrated
from other villages of district.
2. Age & religious profile: The survey interviewed only those street
children who reported their age between 5-18 years. The age
distribution of street children is given in table 2. It can be seen that
(37.5%) were of age 11 -14 years which is not surprising
concentration in this category. (35%) had age 8-10 years. Among
40 respondent street children 47.5% were reported Hindu and 52.5
% were Muslims.
3. Orphan children:
Table 3 provides the information against the status of orphan
children (both parents deceased) which are count the (2.5%) of the
total respondent children.
4. Location of Parents /guardians
Respondents were asked to describe the location of their parents if
this was known. Out of total 40 respondents, 40 respondents knew
the location of their parents. About 77.5 percent indicated that they
live with their parents on the street. Respondents live with their
mother only (10%) with father only (5%). Followed by 5% indicated
that their parents live in home town/village (table-4).
Overall appears the proportionally more street children live with
their parents on the street shows correlation with the factors of
poverty, hunger co-exist with each other and search of more
opportunities of income in large towns.
5. Reasons for leaving home and information to parents:
The respondent children were asked “why did you leave your
town/village home?” and number of options were presented in the
questionnaire with a possibilities of expending on these the two
most important reasons mentioned were;-
• Come to earn money with parents- (Income) -----(25%) Left home
account of this.
• Poverty and Hunger--------------------(72.5%) Reported this.
• Don’t want to go school…………. (2.5%)
The statistics reveals the gloomy picture, the first two indicators
are co related to each- other, because it shows poverty and misery
resulted in creation of forced, pushed and pulled factors of earning
or migration of children (table-6).
6. Sleeping Arrangements (current location):
About (100%) said that they were sleep on the street always,
occasionally they sleep in the bus shelter, shop shelter etc. The
data also indicated that children sleep at same sight every night
and thus considers it as their permanent place of sleeping. Those
who consider their sleeping place temporary were small in numbers
7. Age of the children when first started work:
About (95%) started working when they are in formative age of
their life ( 5-8 years). Rest (5%) stated when they were of age
between 8-12 years started working on the streets (table-10)
8. How did you find the work:
Table 8 reflects that how street children find the work. About
(37.5%) of the children reported that they themselves started the
job. Nearly (60%) of the children reported that they get the job
through friends, in case of (1%) of the children reported the get the
job through relatives.
9. Current Work
The respondent street children in study areas are engaged in verity
of activities. The responses are to some extent concentrated in four
Rag picking 52.5%
Selling water bottles 17.5%
Brooming in trains 12.5%
The aforementioned activity well reported by the street children at
the time of interview. The street children suppressed the nature of
their works they didn’t report correctly if the nature of work is
illegal and not approved by the society. Illegal activities like pick
pocketing, theft, snatching, drug peddling were not replied by
10. Work hours and weekly working days:
Based on focus group discussions and the reported data it appears
that average street children works 5.23 days in a week and work
between 5 to 7 hours per day.
11. Earning, expenditure and saving:
Questions were asked about the earning last 15 days and
expenditure. About majority of the respondent children had earned
between Rs. 100 to Rs. 150. The children were asked how much of
their earnings they keep. 5% of the children reported that they
keep all of it, while the 70% said that they keep some of it and give
their earning to parents for saving purpose 25% remaining children
gave the money to other people known to them like chai wala, stall
wala etc. Regarding expenditure of the earnings the respondent
children majority money goes on food and clothing. (Table-9)
12. Liking or disliking the work
The survey reveals that 55% like or enjoy their current work. The
rest 45% did not like or enjoy their present work. (Table-11) Those
who enjoyed their work were asked to state reasons for liking the
work most of them gave the reason that they are able to earn
money for himself, followed by the reasons that they can help their
family. Similarly amongst those who didn’t like their work due to
Abuse & mistreatment of general public.
13. Sickness during work, Medical care and expenses:
In the context of street children health more than half 82.5% of the
respondent children reported that they felt sick during their work.
The most common type of sickness was fever, headache and water
borne disease those who were sick were asked whether they took
medical care or no for their illness. About 52.5 percentages of them
went to the government hospital services followed by 12.5% to
private doctors, 17.5 % does not receive care. The sick children
were asked whether they could afford the cost of treatment easily
or not.42.5 % of them said they could afford the coast (table-12,
13, 14) where 57.5% of the children mentioned said they could not
afford the cost.
Respondent were asked the number of questions with regards to
their education, reasons for not going to school and reading and
writing abilities. It was found that (77.5%) children never attended
any formal school. The respondent who indicated that they were
not attending school were asked to give the reasons for this and
the profile of the responses are present in (table16-19).It was seen
that more children were not attending their school due to poverty
or lack of educational support or due to their nature of earning
work. Thus presumably means their parents/guardians were unable
to support their continued schooling or that the home financial
situation was of such a nature that there was no income and this
forcing the child to meet his/her basic requirements outside of the
home. The respondent were asked as to their reading and writing
skills, if the answer was yes for reading then the child was asked to
read up the part of questionnaire or sample provided to interviewer
as a means of verification that child can actually read. Thus, if the
child could show its ability to read, then the child was determined
as able to read, otherwise categorized unable to read. Likewise the
ability to writing was determined through the same process of
verification. The outcomes of the two tests are collated in table 18-
The survey indicated that (90%) cannot read against (10%) can
read. Likewise in writing ability section (92.5%) was unable to write
against (7.5%) were able to write shows high correlation
understandably exist reading and writing skills. This implies that
the overwhelming majority street children had virtually no
15. Importance of school education & training
The respondents were very much willing to go school and acquire
training if such opportunity shall provide to them. Among all
respondent (95%) reported that they give importance to school
educations but on asking of question “would they like to go school
if you are given an opportunity” then (70%) respondents readily
agreed that they would definitely go to school. (30%) is reported
negatively. Regarding training opportunity (75%) children replied in
affirmative against (10%) replied in not so important category.
16. Free Time
Based on reported data, most of the children entertain themselves
by playing different outdoor games (70%), others entertain by
helping parents for domestic works (5%), or Others (25%) which
include hanging outside, playing cards, sleeping, study and some
were involved in Drugs using like sulation (Whitener). As the
children have to work for a long time they can enjoy limited modes
of entertainments. (Table-24)
17. Drugs Use
In context of using drugs or similar types of substances (37.5%) of
the street children said that they use drugs or similar type of
substances. Pursuing this further, the respondent said that they
smoke cigarettes, use sulation (Whitener) as inhaler sometimes
beedi. (62.5%) replied negatively. The above statistics show the
substantial chunk of the street children are using drugs or
dependency of drugs which is resulting in an increase of petty theft
among them and lead to more criminal and violent activities.
18. Ever arrested by police
The respondent was asked whether they were ever arrested by the
police. Almost (100%) of the street children replied in negative
19. Awareness of NGOs/Institutions
Table 28 shows the data about awareness of street children about
organization providing assistance to street children. No child is
aware of any such organizations. This shows the working status of
such organizations in the district. We can infer that there is an
urgent need of such organizations who are working in the field of
child protection and child welfare.
20. Assistance needed from Society/Govt./NGO’s
The respondents were asked about the assistance they needed
from the society/Govt./NGO’s. The most important assistances they
• Food and clothing for self (7.5 %).
• Night lodging/ Shelter (72.5 %).
• Others. (20%). (include education, cycle,
It can be inferred from the above responses that majority of the
street children in both gender emphasize on shelter, food and
clothing. This is the area of the basic needs often individuals and
also guaranteed under the Article 21 in the Indian Constitution and
also the responsibility of state Govt. under the directive principles
of Constitution. (Table-32)
21. Facing problems while on the Street
The respondents were asked “What kind of problems/risks have
you faced while working/Living on the street?” Unfortunately
About (50%) faced Physical assault (with or without weapon),
Verbal abuse, Non-payment and mistreatment on the street by local
people. (2.5%) respondent faced the police ire like scolding and
beating etc. It is seen from the data profile that it is the society, its
people, their mindsets, their attitude are the major factors
responsible for the torture and cruelty towards street children .
Whether it is a lice or a common man all use them for their own
wasted purposes. It is a very sorry state of street children in Patna.
22. Future Inclination
“No responses” were recorded in 14 cases (35%) of the sample
which showed that these children were uncertain about their future.
Of the total group (10%) showed up preference for being a Teacher,
others (55%) which includes government service , politician, police
official, cycle mechanic, actor, driver etc. (table- 33)
Conclusion and Recommendations:
The problem of street child has to be addressed from at least two
angles. The first one is the attitudinal change of the society. Street
children represent the end point of a complex set of factors, which
require a multitude of resources and efforts to address the problem. A
situation that has been created due to the existing social, political and
economic pressures in society and needs to be addressed at the root
of the problem, through an attitudinal change in the society.
However, change is not an easy process. A change that demands a
modification in attitudes, as well as change in the social, economic and
political situation, is a slower process. Policy makers, Industry, Society
need to view street children with compassion and sensitivity.
Concentrated and specific efforts of the NGOs, Philanthropist and the
Govt. are needed in this context counseling (help line), informal talks
and befriending. Non-formal education, setting up training centers,
reaching marketable and useful skills will change their life for better.
Immediate following steps to be taken
1. Build District-level Government structures to ensure better
protection and systemic coordination for children.
2. Increase funding and collaboration for child protection.
3. Review Universal Education System to ensure that all children
including vulnerable children realize their Right to Education.
4. involvement in intervention design and delivery.
5. Address the concern of older vulnerable children to ensure age
appropriate interventions monitoring and evaluation system.
6. Consider the role of institutional care and transit homes.
7. Build capacity of family to care for and protect vulnerable
8. Expand support networks for community run programs
9. Address the emerging culture of dependency.
10. Investigate street children further.
11. Ensure effective implementation of Juvenile Justice System in
12. Create a child friendly mechanism and atmosphere in the
Pilot Study on an Analysis of the Situation of Vulnerable
Children in Buxar District.
To be asked to children (5-18 years of age)
District: Buxar Municipality Ward No………………
Name of Location: ……………………………..
Name of Respondent: ……………………………….
Interviewer's Name and Signature: …………………………….
Date of interview:
Greetings! We are from SARTHI, PATNA, BIHAR, and my name is ___________________
I am working as an interviewer for the study on street children. We have some question to ask, it will take
approximately 30 minutes. The information we gather will be treated as confidential and will be used for
research purposes. We thank you for all the help and cooperation in advance.
1.1) Name of street child……………………………………………………..
1.3) Is the child orphan? If answer yes, move to Q 1.5
1)Yes 2) No
1.4) Where are your Parents?
1. Parents living in home town/Village.
2. Parents live with me on street.
3. living with my mother
4. living with my father
5. Others (Specify)
1.5) Where do you live and sleep these days?
1.On the street
2. In a shelter
3. Under a bridge
4. At a temple/Mosque
7. Railway station
8. Bus stands
9. Abandoned House
10. Others (specify)
1.6) Do your parents know that you live here? Don’t ask this Q from orphan.
1) Yes 2) No.
1.7) Where is your Original home? Don’t know
(Please note down the address)
2.1) Why did you leave your town/Village.
2. Domestic abuse of step-father/ mother
3. Ran away
4. Parents sent me for work.
5. Parents sold me
6. Come to earn money.
7. No one to look after me.
8. Don’t want to go school.
9. Others. (Specify)
2.2) How long have you been in this city?
Days Months Years
2.3) Is there any local guardian/bhaiya of you in this city?
1) Yes 2) No
If Yes, Please name……………………………………
3.1) What type of work are you mostly engaged in?
2. Collect things from garbage
3. Sex Worker
4. Sell drugs
6. Brooming in train/Road
7. Work in small/big shop.
8. Selling water bottle
9. Boot Polish
10. Others. (Specify)
3.2) How did you find the work?
1. I find work myself.
2. Ask other people to find work.
3. Through Friends.
4. Through Relatives
3.3) How many hours/days on average do you work on the street?
3.5) How much did you earn in last 15 days in Rs.----------------
3.6) How much of your earnings do you keep?
1. I keep all of it.
2. I keep some of it.
3. Others. (Specify)
3.7) At what age did you start working as a street child?
1) Less than 5 yrs.
2) Between 5-8 yrs.
3) Between 8-12 yrs.
4) Between 12-15 yrs.
5) Between 15-18 yrs.
6) Don’t remember
3.8) Do you enjoy working?
1) Yes 2) No
3.9) Do you work on your own?
2) No, I work with street children
3) I work with parents.
4.1) have you ever been sick during the work?
1) Yes 2) No
4.2) If Yes, where you usually go to receive medical care?
3. Govt. Hospital
4. NGOs / Child Institutions
5. Doesn’t receive care
6. Others. (Specify).
4.3) Could you afford the expense?
4.4) If no, then how do you manage?
5.1) With whom do you sleep with at night?
1. Other street children
2. No one, I sleep on my own
3. With other people who are adult (please specify)
4. shelter home
6. others (specify)
6.1) Are you currently attending school?
1) Yes 2) No
If Yes, what is his/her grade.
If No, Which was his/her last completed grade.
6.2) Provide reasons for not going to schools.
6.3) Can you read?
1) Yes 2) No
6.4) Can you write?
1) yes 2) No
7.1) What is your religion?
4. Others (specify)
7.2) How do you rate the importance of school/Education?
2. Not so important
7.3) If you are given an opportunity would you go to school?
7.4) If you are given an opportunity would you go to some skill training?
7.5) How do you spend your free time?
2. Watch TV
3. Help parents for domestic work
4. Drug peddling
6. Others (specify)
7.6) Do you smoke / take drugs?
1) Yes 2) No
7.7) If yes, name it.
5) Others (specify)
7.8) Have you ever been arrested by the police?
1) Yes 2) No
7.9) If Yes, Why?
1. For Stealing
2. There are no reasons , they are harassing me
4. Others (please specify)
7.10) Are you aware of some NGOs/Institutions/ individuals which provide assistance to street children?
1) Yes 2) No
7.11) If yes, can you name some of them?
1) …………………………2) …………………………3……………….
8) Do you move around the city?
1) Yes 2) No
8.3) Martial Status
8.4) Do you have any sexual relationship with other persons? (Ask this Q to 14+ child otherwise move to Q.9)
1) Yes 2) No
8.5) If yes, How often?
2. More than once in a week
3. Once in a week
4. Once in a month
5. Few times / month
6. Don’t Know
9) What kind of problem/ risks have you faced while working/ living on the street?
9.1) What kind of assistance you needed from society/ Government/NGO (if applicable tick more than one)
1. Food and clothing for self
2. Night lodging/ shelter
3. Other (specify)
10) Future Inclination
1. To become Businessman/Women
2. To become Teacher
3. To become Doctor
4. To become Lawyer
5. Others (Specify)
6. Don’t Know
Date................................ Name of Investigator
Seen but not heard, India’s marginalized, neglected &vulnerable
children vhai, 2002.
1. The United Nations convention on the rights of the children (CRC), 20th
2. Review of child labor education and poverty agenda, India country report, 2006.
3. Women and child development report, Ministry of Women and Child
4. Juvenile justice Act,2000 , Universal law publications, new delhi,2009
5. Bakshi,P.M; The constitution of India with selective comments; Universal law
publishing company pvt.ltd.; new delhi,2009